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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > High Sierra Sport Titan 65 backpack > Test Report by Erin Marie Hedden

HIGH SIERRA TITAN 65
TEST SERIES BY ERIN M. HEDDEN
FIELD REPORT
November 13, 2012

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Erin M. Hedden
EMAIL: tookieblueeyes@live.com
AGE: 34
LOCATION: Southeastern Colorado, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 153 lb (69.40 kg)

Backpacking Background: I have been backpacking since 4 years of age, taking long trips into the mountains with my family. I hike various terrains from mountains and plateaus to grasslands and prairies. My excursions can be a day hike with a light-weight waist pack, a loop trail taking up to 5 days on which I keep my pack as light-weight as possible, or an in-and-out trip for a night or two where my pack can be heavy. Slow and steady is my pace and I use a tent or a hammock depending on weather and terrain.


INITIAL REPORT

GENERAL INFORMATION

IMAGE 1
Image Courtesy of High Sierra


Manufacturer: High Sierra
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.hssc.com/
MSRP: Not Yet Listed

MEASUREMENTS & SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity: 65 L (3965 cu in)IMAGE 2
Weight: Listed 5.6 lb (2.54 g)
Measured: 5.1 lb (2.30 kg)
Fit: Regular: 35-50 cm (14-20 in) torso
Height Range: 172-182 cm (68-72 in)
Waist Range: 76 cm (30 in) and up
Materials: Nylon Mini-Diamond Ripstop, Duralite® Nylon, 840D Nylon (bottom)
Color Options:
229: Cliff, Rock, Auburn, Charcoal (basically gray/brown)
453: Pacific, Nebula, Ash, Charcoal (blue/gray)
640: Amazon, Pine, Leaf, Charcoal (green/gray)
Warranty Offered: A limited Lifetime Warranty is Offered by High Sierra

INNITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The color of the Titan 65 was the first thing that I noticed and I fell in love with it immediately. When I removed the backpack from its packaging I noticed that it felt quite a bit lighter than I had expected it to be from my previous experience with backpacks of the same capacity. Right away I was pleased with how light it felt in my hands but after weighing it and the 5.1 lb (2.30 kg) total weight was confirmed I was very happy with the Titan 65. After giving it the once over by checking out all the attachment points, all the straps, pockets, compartments, zippers, clips and buckles that the Titan 65 has I was very impressed not only with the construction and materials of the pack, but also with the fact that High Sierra did not seem to leave anything out. From the daisy chain webbing on the front of the pack for attaching extra gear to a removable media pocket, everything about this backpack impressed me greatly.
IMAGE 3
To start off with, the main compartment is 55 liters in volume (3356 cu in) and accessed through a gusseted drawstring closure at the top of the pack. There is an adjustable strap that goes from the middle front facing interior part of the pack, located at the base of the gusset, to the center rear, which is also found at the base of the gusset.

The lid of the pack itself is non-removable and it fits snugly over the drawstring closure at the top of the pack. Though the lid is not able to be removed it is still made to be adjustable via two straps that are located on the rear portion of the lid and two more located on the front. This lid also has a zipper pocket that can be used for the storage of smaller items that need to be kept handy. There are four loops for extra gear attachment located at all four corners of the lid itself. Inside of the lid there is one more zipper pocket that can be used to store other smaller items, such as car keys, money, passports or other documents I may need to keep handy, yet secure. Sewn into the top of the inside of the lid is a patch that lists the "12 Survival Essentials".

IMAGE 4


There is a sleeve sewn into the rear of the main compartment that is designed for storing a hydration bladder and there are two small elastic lined holes, one on the rear left, one on the rear right part of the backpack to allow an exit for the hydration bladder hose to be accessed while wearing the Titan 65.

There is also a zipper on the exterior of the front facing right side of the backpack that will allow easy access to items that may be packed away in the main compartment without having to actually get in through the top of the backpack itself.

Also in this rear, top, area of the interior of the pack there is another slit that is not really noticeable at all. This is a hook-and-loop type flap that will allow for access to the skeleton of the Titan 65. The skeleton is a plastic frame that has two aluminum stays which can be shaped a bit if it is needed to make adjustments for a more personalized frame fit.

At the base of the backpack there is a sleeping bag compartment that can be closed off for storage of a sleeping bag alone, or opened up to make the Titan 65 a single 65 liter (3965 cu in) pack. This compartment can be accessed from the inside of the main compartment of the pack, or from the outside via the exterior zipper.

Attached to the pack itself are many different straps, pockets and pouches that come in a variety of sizes and shapes to secure or store all types of goodies and gear.
IMAGE 5
The biggest pocket on the Titan 65, other than its main compartment, is an expanding, hinged pocket that has gusseted sides. The instruction booklet that came with the Titan 65 states that this gusseted pocket is ideal for storing climbing ropes or other gear and I am curious to see what uses I will find for it. The hinged pocket can be closed with two adjustable webbing straps that will also provide some force for compression. There is also a zipper on the front of this pocket that reveals another small area inside that can be used to store maps, snacks and whatever else I may want handy. There are also two hook-and-loop straps that are perfect for attaching otherwise loose gear like a trowel, ice axe or hatchet. As if that were not enough to make a backpacker happy, High Sierra threw daisy chain loops onto the Titan 65 to sweeten the deal and make extra gear attachment a cinch!

There are two elastic pockets located on either side of the exterior of the Titan 65 for stuffing a water bottle into, or other items that I would need to keep handy. My 1 liter (1000 mL) Nalgene easily fits snugly inside both of these two pockets.

On the left strap of the Titan 65 there is a removable media pocket that I can fit my Garmin GPS into, my cellular phone or my MP3 player.

Attached to both sides of the waist belt of the Titan 65 are two more adequately sized pouches that are accessed by a zipper. These are great pouches to keep snacks handy and any other items that will be getting a lot of use on the trail. The belts themselves are padded with VAPEL® mesh.

On the external portion of the pack there are two grab handles that are attached to the front portion of the pack which makes for easier handling of the pack itself. The grab handles are also located where the compression straps meet - one runs towards the top to secure the top lid, one goes downwards in order to function as compression for the sleeping bag, and the last one gives side compression to the pack. The bottom strap can also function as an area where a sleeping pad can be attached and carried. There are also two loops that are located at the front, bottom, of the pack.

The back portion is all a part of the AIRFLOW® system that is supposedly made of a high density foam and is designed to help keep the pack distanced from my back so that I do not get so hot or sweaty. It appears as if there is almost a "Y" shaped groove that stretches down the entire portion of the center of the back of this pack.

The shoulder straps are attached with the proprietary ERGO-FIT® 'S' shaped harness and load lifters. The ERGO-FIT system is supposed to be very easy to adjust to different lengths of a person's own torso. This can be done by lifting a hook-and-loop tab, sliding the harness out of the daisy chain webbing then relocating it to an appropriate height. It also appears to me that the shoulder harness is covered in the same VAPEL® mesh that the hip belt is constructed of.

There are 'D' rings sewn to each shoulder strap as well.

The sternum strap can be slid up or down to accommodate a variety of positions for comfort and stability.

INSTRUCTIONS

The High Sierra Titan 65 backpack came with instructions on how to get the right fit, loading the pack, cleaning the pack and general information about the backpack and its construction. The pictures that were included in these instructions provided excellent visual cues to follow and were easy to read and understand.

TRYING IT OUT

I have taken the time to pack up the Titan 65 with everything I will be needing on my next trip out into the bush and even though I will be needing quite a bit of gear for this next outing, I found that after I was finished, there was still quite a bit of room for me to fit any extras in.

After fitting the backpack to my torso size and walking around with it for a while to get a feel for the Titan 65, packed of course, I did not find myself feeling any discomfort and could not pin point any areas where the pack was rubbing me the wrong way, so to speak.

Carrying the pack around using the two handles that are attached to the exterior of the front of the pack made it really easy for me to load and unload from my vehicle and for transporting it from one place to another before actually putting it on.

SUMMARY

To summarize my findings on the HIgh Sierra Titan 65 backpack I am not ashamed to say that I am in love with the color and construction of this backpack. There doesn't seem to be anything High Sierra has left out or not thought about when designing the Titan 65 and I am excited to get it out on the trail as soon as possible!

I would like to thank High Sierra and BackPackGearTest.org for the honor of testing the Titan 65. My Field Report is to follow in approximately two months.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

IMAGE 1As late summer set in I packed up the High Sierra Titan 65 backpack with enough gear to weigh out at 40 lbs (18 kg) total and set out on a 13 mile (21 km) hike up hill on a switch back trail in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains in Huerfano County, Colorado. The hike in was during a clear and sunny day but I failed to get a temperature reading because I had left some key pieces of gear back at the car, but when I checked the weather conditions on line the day before the trip NOAA predicted that temperatures during the day would reach 92 F (33 C) and for the return date and my hike back down the switch back trail to the Jeep NOAA gave information that indicated that the temperature would reach 94 F (34 C) for the area I was setting out to backpack into.

When summer had given way to fall I packed the Titan 65 up for another trip down into the Arkansas River basin in Southeastern Colorado for a hike in that totaled 6 miles (10 km) in to the campsite and 6 miles (10 km) back out after three nights. For the hike in to my set location alongside the Arkansas River conditions were favorable and the temperature topped out to 83 F ( 28 C) and for the hike back out of the basin temperatures reached 86 F (30 C). The starting weight of the backpack after packing it up came to 44 lbs (20 kg).

During October I used the Titan 65 for another trip down into the Arkansas River Basin or Southeaster Colorado but a little further up river. For this trip the backpack's weight after packing all the gear that would be necessary for this particular trip the weight of the pack tallied up to 46 lbs (21 kg) and the lengthIMAGE 2 of the journey in to the site was 11 miles (18 km) which was mirrored on the return trip back to the Jeep. The temperature for the first day of hiking in to my destination felt chilly but the thermometer I was carrying registered the temperature to be 71 F (22 C), and for the return trip the thermometer only registered a reading of 68 F (20 C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Packing up the High Sierra Titan 65 backpack was easy and using the adjustable strap that goes from the middle front facing interior part of the pack, located at the base of the gusset, to the center rear for securing my tent as opposed to tying it on to the top of the pack with rope or bungee cords was a luxury I enjoyed and was very thankful to have. I had no issues packing up, or finding room for, all the gear that I would be needing in camp and employing along the trail. The addition of the two waist belt pouches made access to snacks and other gear that gets a lot of use and play along the trail was another wonderful luxury. The media pocket that is attached to the left side shoulder strap of the Titan 65 secured my GPS system and made it easy for me to access at all times.
IMAGE 3
As far as transporting the pack the two handles that are found attached to the exterior front of the Titan 65 made it easy lugging the pack around from house to car and from car to ground. Not having to rely solely on the shoulder straps or the small handle sewn to the top of backpacks was quite a relief and it made moving the Titan 65 around so much easier.

Shouldering the backpack was no more difficult than it is for most other packs I have employed in my journeys across the nation and that includes from ground to shoulder as well as from car to shoulder.

I had no problems with any discomfort from the adjustable shoulder straps once the backpack was in place and even after prolonged wear I did not suffer from any blisters or being rubbed raw by the shoulder straps at any time.

It took some time to get the waist strap adjusted and settled properly on my hips so as to prevent any problems or discomfort from having the waist strap buckled up and in place, but once I worked it out for myself I felt little pressure beneath the strap and did not wind up with sore hips or an aching back.

During the use of the Titan 65 in the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range in Huerfano County, Colorado temperatures were still quite warm, almost hot, and I did break a heavy sweat while making my way up the 13 mile (21 km) switchback trail up to my campsite destination at 7,500 ft (2,286 m) of elevation, but I did not get overheated the way I have experienced in the past using other packs and I believe that is due to the design of the shape of the back of the Titan 65 and the materials that were used in its construction. I did not get uncomfortable because of the moisture collecting on my back during this hike up the mountain and I did feel like there was air being exchanged between my back and the backpack, helping to cool me down and prevent discomfort.
IMAGE 4
Honestly, I had no problems with the construction or durability of this backpack as of yet and have had no issues with finding my gear even with it fully packed up because of the inclusion of the side panel zipper that allows me to get into the large compartment of the pack without having to undo the entire top and everything else from the top of the pack down. I have not had any failures of D-rings, straps, zippers or any of the extras so far.

SUMMARY

To sum things up about the High Sierra Titan 65 backpack at this point in the report I would say that I have had a good time using it and have not had any problems with this backpack so far, in fact I have found that some of the inclusions like the handles for transporting it and the adjustable strap that goes from the middle front facing interior part of the pack at the top opening of the main compartment of the backpack have made using this pack and packing it a little easier on me and my gear. I have not had any issues with being uncomfortable, of feeling overheated or feeling discomfort from sweating and having a wet, sticky and irritating backpack snug against my back and shoulders. So far, so good.

IMAGE 5



I would like to thank High Sierra and BackPackGearTest.org for giving me the opportunity to test the Titan 65. This concludes my Field Report and my Long Term Report on the Titan 65 will follow in two months.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of High Sierra Sport Company gear
Read more gear reviews by Erin Marie Hedden

Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > High Sierra Sport Titan 65 backpack > Test Report by Erin Marie Hedden



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